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Tuesday, May 11, 1999

  • At UW for a quarter-century
  • Fast-track program in math
  • Much other news today
  • The Bulletin's six years old


At UW for a quarter-century

Some 57 staff and faculty members will be honoured tonight for the 25 years they've each spent at Waterloo. They're the people who came to UW in 1974 -- the year of the new Optometry building and the Renison College controversy -- and, an eyeblink later, are the newest members of the university's 25-Year Club. The annual 25-Year reception starts at 6:00 in Federation Hall.

Two corrections

I said in yesterday's Bulletin that Master Co-op Records would be available, and work reports for most co-op students would be due, "today", meaning yesterday. That was a mistake: in fact the documents are ready this morning, and the deadline for work reports (in most faculties) is 4 p.m. today, meaning today, Tuesday.

Also, I said the referendum on a change to the staff pay schedule was being conducted by the staff relations committee. In fact, it's being held by the staff compensation committee, which represents staff association leadership and senior UW management.

The silver anniversary veterans come from departments across campus, and include one dean (Mike Sharratt of applied health sciences) and two directors (May Yan of retail services and Don Kasta of distance and continuing education).

There's no record that any of the 1974 arrivals, although they were so much younger then, indulged in that year's favourite fad of "streaking" -- running naked through public places. A number of them, though, have been involved in something else that was new in 1974: "centres of excellence". That category would include Abe Elmasry, a well-known faculty member in electrical and computer engineering, and Bob Gillham of earth sciences.

Another development just 25 years ago was the renaming of the Social Sciences building to be "Environmental Studies I". Murray Haight of the school of planning and Geoffrey Wall of geography both got here just in time to spend 25 years working in the renamed building. (There are no optometry staff or faculty who arrived just as the optometry school moved from its rented off-campus quarters into its new building on Columbia Street.)

Other changes at UW in 1974 included the beginning of white-paper recycling at the university, the appointment of Tom Brzustowski as vice-president (academic) and J. S. Minas as dean of arts, a national hockey championship for the Warriors, and the sale of Seagram Stadium to the city of Waterloo. That's in addition to the Renison affair, a dispute centred on three faculty members whose contracts the new principal of the college decided not to renew. It led to demonstrations, marathon meetings and a faculty association investigation.

In his history of the university, available at the bookstore for $19.95, Simon the Troll also notes 1974 achievements at UW that ranged from chess-playing computer programs to "real-dollar" charging at the computing centre. And 1974 was the year the staff association began to negotiate with the university management over staff salary scales.

The official list of 25-year staff and faculty will be published in tomorrow's Gazette.

Eight staff and faculty members -- including the provost -- are reaching an even loftier point. These 1964 arrivals are to be honoured as 35-year employees of UW: Thomas Fahidy, chemical engineering; Mary Gerhardstein, English; Robert Hudgins, chemical engineering; Jim Kalbfleisch, vice-president (academic) and provost; Bruce Lumsden, director of co-operative education and career services; John Smith, physics; Barry Wills, systems design engineering; John Wilson, political science.

Fast-track program in math

In an attempt to "attract more of the best undergraduate students into graduate studies at Waterloo," the computer science department plans to introduce a new combined Bachelor of Mathematics and Master of Mathematics program next fall.

Designed to "shorten the time required to obtain an MMath when compared to the usual route for graduate studies," the program will allow students to complete two graduate courses during the 4A/4B terms which will be counted toward the MMath degree.

The change is based less on demand than on the "if we build it, they will come" approach. "We hope that students will want to take advantage of it," says computer science graduate officer George Labahn.

"Often students don't think about grad studies until fourth year. We want to make students aware at an earlier stage." To benefit from the head start offered by the new program, students should be applying for it in the 3B term.

By plugging into the combined program, students can get a leap on grad studies and save a term in the process, said Labahn.

Both computer science and engineering graduate programs face competition from private sector employers offering high wages to top graduates from bachelor's programs, he added. Although enrolment in computer science grad programs is fairly stable, "we would like to see an increase in graduate enrolment."

Much other news today

The undergraduate council meets today at 1:30 (Needles Hall room 3004) to screen proposed curriculum changes that are to be submitted to the senate for final approval. The agenda, I see from a quick scan, includes reorganization of the core curriculum in structures, mechanics and construction for civil engineering, and changes to the fourth-year program in electrical and computer engineering, with the 4A term merged so that students in both fields would have it together, in the spring. But the most substantial change I'm seeing in these many pages of documentation comes from the school of architecture, which proposes to replace its three-year BES and two-year Bachelor of Architecture with a four-year BES and one-year Master of Architecture degree. We'll be hearing more about that one.

The registrar's office sends word that final mark reports for undergraduate students for the winter term "are scheduled to run on May 21 and should go out in the mail to students' home addresses the week of May 24".

The UW chaplains are sponsoring a special event next Monday: "Open Discussion on Violence in Our Society: What Happened in Littleton and Taber?" "Everyone is invited to come," a memo says. "A memorial moment will close this event." Discussion starts at 12:30 on Monday (that's May 17) in the multipurpose room of the Student Life Centre. Nancy O'Neil in the SLC, phone ext. 6283, can answer any questions.

Auditions for the next one-act play weekend presented by Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre will be held Wednesday and Thursday night (7:00) at KWLT, 9 Princess Street East. "If you have ever wanted to try acting, stage managing, lighting, sound, propos, well, just about anything at the theatre, here is your chance," says Angela Chambers, a vice-president of KWLT and a well-known FASS person and alumnus at UW. Questions: phone the theatre, 886-0660.

The local Volunteer Action Centre is looking for golf marshals for the CNIB's annual tournament on May 28; for young people aged 12 to 18, to spend some time at Kitchener Public Library this summer reading to children; and for volunteers to spend three hours a week at Notre Dame of St. Agatha children's mental health centre. For more information, the VAC can be reached at 742-8610.

A note from a faithful reader: "In the National Capital Marathon in Ottawa, Jeff Irwin (4B AM/Chem) ran the marathon in 2:49:43. Benoit Joubert (2B Chem Eng) did the inline skating version in 2:04 and change."

And a note from the human resources department: "There is still room for individuals to register for the upcoming Phoenix Seminar. The Phoenix Seminar will be held on Tuesday, May 18, Thursday, May 20 and Wednesday, May 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in MC 4068. If anyone is interested they can contact Carolyn Vincent at ext. 2078."

The Bulletin's six years old

It was May 11, 1993, six years ago today, that the first Daily Bulletin appeared on campus. The World Wide Web hadn't been invented yet, or only barely, and that first, brief Bulletin was delivered to a relative handful of users of the UWinfo Gopher, which had been introduced the previous September.

The Bulletin moved to the Web in the spring of 1995, and in January 1996 the UWinfo Gopher was killed off, supplanted by the present UWinfo Web pages. Since that time the Bulletin has been here every day with news, announcements, chatter, a few pictures, a lot of hyperlinks and -- I like to think -- the kind of immediacy that helps keep people intimately involved in this far-flung institution.

That first day, May 11, 1993, was a Tuesday, and one of the richest days in the history of this university. The first Bulletin had four brief paragraphs -- one each about the Social Contract government restraint program, a staff and faculty hiring freeze, a noon-hour talk by president James Downey (who had taken office less than a month earlier), and the search for a vice-president (academic) and provost.

Some things never change: six years later UW is still talking about government financing. Jim Kalbfleisch, who took office through that search process, is still VP and provost. And Downey will end his presidential term in three weeks.

The Bulletin continues. . . .

CAR


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
http://www.bulletin.uwaterloo.ca | Yesterday's Bulletin
Copyright © 1999 University of Waterloo